The median annual forensic pathologist salary in the United States is about $244,000 a year, or $118 an hour. This is a well-deserved pay-grade, and higher than a number of other professionals in the health and medical fields, though not all. Pathologists in the top 10th percentile could see up to $335,000 or higher in a year. This is equal to $161 or higher per hour. The lowest 10th percentile sees about $177,000 or less per year (about $85 an hour or less). However, this is still a very high annual income, and nothing to be ashamed of. The best numbers can be found in the middle 50%. These professionals will make between $209,000 and $292,000 every year. This is an hourly payment of between $101 and $140.
Many factors will raise or lower a forensic pathologist’s salary level. Educational level and experience play a major role, as they do in every profession. Geographic location will also determine income, since pay-grades will vary from state to state. The employment opportunities for a forensic pathologist may make or break the bank account. Typically, government based forensic pathologists will rake in a better income than those working in a hospital.
Benefits will also add to a pathologist’s salary. Between social security, pension, health care benefits, and paid time off, a forensic pathologist could make a salary with compensation of about $326,000 a year. This is a hefty sum of money.
Job Description of a Forensic Pathologist
Forensic pathologists are medical professionals who mostly study diseases of the body. This is called pathology. Typically, forensic pathologists are a combination between a doctor and a detective. They may work with crime institutions to determine various factors in a case that have been disputed. This may include cause of death, and forensic pathologists will often work in autopsy concerning murders, suicides, or manslaughter cases.
A forensic pathologist’s main job is to help the justice system in the solving of high-profile cases. These professionals are often called to bear expert testimony in court concerning the case. Their opinions can have a huge impact on the outcome of the case. They may also have to give their opinions to the media if it is an extremely high-profile case, so they must be outgoing and well-spoken.
While forensic pathologists often deal with high-profile court cases involving homicides and manslaughter, these professionals also offer their duties to non-suspicious deaths, those that died of natural causes.
How to Become a Forensic Pathologist
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To become a forensic pathologist, one must usually undergo a minimum of thirteen years of education and training. This is post-high school education. The first step is to obtain an undergraduate degree in a medical or scientific field. A four year medical program will ensue afterwards, along the student to become an M.D. A licensing exam must be passed before this milestone, however.
After becoming an M.D., one must enroll in a four year residency in anatomic and clinical pathology. To become a forensic pathologist, one must enter an extra one year residency in forensic pathology. This residency will offer legal system training on top of the medical training already received.
The career field can only be entered after passing the regional pathology and forensic pathology board exams.
Forensic Pathologist Salary in Other Countries (UK, Australia and Canada)
Typically, a forensic pathologist in Canada may make around C$81,000 on average. Australian forensic pathologists will make roughly the same, at around A$85,000 on average.
The United Kingdom is in roughly the same area as the others. A forensic pathologist will make around £50,000 annually. This rounds to about $80,000 in America.
Verdict on Forensic Pathologist Salary
In the United States, a forensic pathologist can hope to make a hefty sum of money every year. Six figure salaries are the norm in this field, even on the low end. A highly experienced and educated forensic pathologist could bring home hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Life can be luxurious for these hard-working individuals.